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National Contingency Planning – Norway


Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) is a Governmental agency under the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs. Our task is to safeguard and develop the coastlinefor all users. The Norwegian Coastal Administration shall contribute to secure vessel traffic and good accessibility along the coast as well as a good, national preparedness against acute pollution.

The Norwegian Coastal Administration is responsible for organizing and maintaining the governmental oil spill response preparedness, and for co-ordinating the governmental, the municipal and the private industry’s preparedness in a national contingency system against oil pollution. This also involves controlling and monitoring any response operations undertaken by the industry or the municipalities.

The Pollution Control Act states that the National Contingency System is divided into private, municipal and governmental contingency areas with specific responsibilities. In Norway, all contingency plans and organizations are standardized and co-ordinated. Hence, in the event of a major national emergency, the national contingency system will work as a single integrated response organisation.

Industrial plants that might cause signifi cant oil pollution are obliged to establish an adequate level of preparedness. Governmental requirements primarily apply to operators on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, the crude oil terminals, the refi neries and companies distributing oil products as well as major industrial companies.

In Norway the approx. 430 municipalities are divided into 34 intermunicipal preparedness areas; each with its own approved contingency plan. The local authorities are responsible for dealing with minor acute spills that occur within the municipality due to normal activity, and which are not covered by the polluter’s private contingency arrangements. The local authorities, the fire departments, the port authorities etc. all collaborate on municipal preparedness. In addition, the municipalities have an obligation to assist the government in the event of a major oil pollution action.The Norwegian Coastal Administration is to deal with oil spills that are not handled by private or municipal preparedness organisations, such as oil spills from ships and major spills from unidentifi ed sources. Additionally, the NCA can provide resources to response-operations under private or municipal management. If the party responsible for carrying out the response-measures does not master the task, the NCA will assist, and (possibly) take over the management of the operation if so required. The NCAis responsible for co-ordinating private, municipal and governmental preparedness into a national emergency response system. (September 2009)